Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    The disability sunflower

    The disability sunflower

    Things most Australians don't think twice about doing can send Alexandra Green into a severe pain flare, ABC News reports.

    The 29-year-old Sydneysider lives with scoliosis, osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Sometimes, all it takes to bring on "absolute agony" is a change in the weather.

    Navigating all that is made even harder by the fact Ms Green's disabilities are invisible — something she was again reminded of after missing out on a seat during a recent bus trip.

    On the day of that bus trip, Ms Green was using a walking stick and wearing a bright green hidden disability sunflower lanyard, the latter of which is an internationally-recognised symbol. 

    Still, nobody offered her a seat and her pain worsened.

    While awareness of the hidden disability sunflower is starting to pick up in Australia, Ms Green wants more people to know what it means so things like getting the bus don't threaten to have such a long-lasting, negative impact on people like her.

    It's a rapidly growing initiative spanning dozens of countries, including Australia, aiming to help the world identify and help people with invisible disabilities.

    By wearing a sunflower lanyard, lapel or wristband, people with disabilities that aren't immediately apparent can signal to others they may need help, understanding or alternative communication methods as they go about their day.


    The hidden disability sunflower is popping up across the globe. Here's what it means and what to do if you see it (ABC News)


    The hidden disability sunflower is an internationally-recognised symbol, but advocates say awareness in Australia isn't what it could be.(Instagram: @hiddendisabilities_anz)